What Is A Root Canal?
All of our teeth have three layers: the outer hard enamel, the dentin (also hard), and the pulp. The pulp is where you’ll find the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp extends the entire length of the tooth, from the crown (top) down to the tip of the roots. The passages that run down into the roots are the “root canals.”
When decay attacks a tooth, in most cases the decay affects the enamel or the dentin layers. But when the decay penetrates the pulp, the pulp must be removed and disinfected. This is known as a root canal.
Symptoms Of An Infected Tooth
In some cases, a patient won’t yet have symptoms but we can see the infection on dental x-rays during your routine cleanings and exams. The infection won’t yet have reached the nerves of the tooth.
When the infection reaches the pulp of the tooth things can get ugly. Here are the symptoms associated with an infected tooth needing a root canal:
The Root Canal Procedure
At Clear Lake Dental Care, we perform root canals in a single appointment. The first step is to remove the infection. We begin by numbing the area so you don’t feel anything. We make a small hole in the crown of the tooth to gain access to the interior. Through that hole, we use very small files to remove the infected pulp, damaged nerve tissue, and other debris. The tooth is completely emptied. It is then flushed with disinfectant to remove any remaining debris and to kill any lingering bacteria.
Now the empty, disinfected tooth needs attention. We fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a rubber-based material called gutta-percha, and then we seal the hole. The hole in the crown is filled with a composite resin filling. In some cases that finishes the procedure. Usually, however, the tooth will require a crown to protect it and to return strength and function that has been compromised by having to remove the interior pulp.
Experts In The Field
There isn’t a procedure we perform at Clear Lake Dental Care more misunderstood than the root canal. Patients associate pain with the procedure, which isn’t the case. The truth is — root canals can save a tooth that would otherwise need an extraction, and the procedure doesn’t involve any more pain than filling a cavity. At Clear Lake Dental Care, we perform our own root canals, saving you the inconvenience of having to go to an endodontist.
Dedicated To Patient Satisfaction
Our staff does an amazing job at working with our patients because they will treat you the way that you want to be treated. Not only is our staff kind, but they are also extremely experienced and know what they are doing when they are on the job! Our job is to make you feel comfortable and feel right at home in our office!
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